HEALTHY minds and healthy bodies have been the focus for Dr John Vaughan throughout his career in medicine.
It is a passion that has taken him to some of the most remote regions in the world from Indigenous communities in the Northern Territory to the rugged terrain of Nepal, while imparting his knowledge along the way to young medicos with the same drive to make a difference.
For Dr Vaughan, everyone deserves good health and a long life.
The Camden Haven GP and educator is the recipient of a 2020 Medal of the Order of Australia (OAM) for service to medicine and surf life saving.
Dr Vaughan is a GP and supervisor at the Ocean Drive Family Practice in North Haven.
He was a member, Hastings Macleay Clinical Council, North Coast Primary Health Network, between 2016-2018; Senior Medical Officer on Thursday Island between 2005-2008; the inaugural chair of the Valley to Coast GP Training provider between 2001-2004; visiting medical officer at Wyong Hospital between 1985-1995 and chair of the Medical Council from 1993-1995.
Dr Vaughan is now the supervisor liaison officer for GP Synergy.
As a GP supervisor for 30 years, Dr Vaughan has a long standing and passionate commitment to registrar education and training, he is an advocate for high quality training and the role of supervisors in the North Coast region.
He is an active surf lifesaver with the Wauchope-Bonny Hills Surf Life Saving Club, and as an advocate of healthy living, also gives to others in free fitness bootcamp sessions three times a week for the community at Bonny Hills. He organises a fitness session before he begins his 'outreach medical program' in Comboyne.
The fitness sessions at Rainbow Beach started with just six women.
He has been the patrol captain for the SLSC since 2016.
Dr Vaughan has also been recognised for his work to help bridge the gap with Indigenous communities.
He has worked closely on initiatives on Thursday Island, has worked in the Pjintajarra lands in South Australia and has volunteered in other countries as a medical specialist including Nepal.
Dr Vaughan campaigns strongly for Aboriginal health issues through his work as a GP supervisor at North Coast GP Training.
Some of that work has included supervising registrars at Werrin Medical Clinic via a remote supervision model which he created to help support the registrar in their move into Aboriginal health care.
His awards and recognition include being named the GP Supervisor of the Year, General Practice Supervisors Association of Australia, 2014; GP Supervisor of the Year, North Coast GP Training, 2012; and GP Supervisor of the Year Valley to Coast GO training, 2004.
Dr Vaughan has written individual 'study plans' for many of local HSC students to help them achieve a work/study balance during their final year of school.
The local general practitioner said he has always been passionate about advocating good health, which is achievable through diet, exercise and getting back to nature.
The success stories from his fitness groups are a testament to that.
"When they first started they couldn't run a kilometre but since then some of them have gone on to run 10 kilometres and even half marathons," Dr Vaughan said about the group.
Dr Vaughan is an avid surfer and if the swell conditions are good he will also go out to catch some waves after the session.
Dr John Vaughan is one of four people in Port Macquarie-Hastings who are the recipients of Queen's Birthday Honours.
Eric Claussen has received a meritorious public service honour for his lifetime work with the National Parks and Wildlife Service.